Drunk driving accidents are responsible for nearly a third of all road deaths in Pennsylvania and all across the United States. Despite decades of awareness campaigns to discourage U.S. motorists from operating a vehicle while intoxicated and despite harsh penalties imposed for offenders who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drunk driving continues to be one of the leading causes of car crashes in Pittsburgh and all across Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania prohibits operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Pennsylvania law imposes a series of penalty tiers for driving under the influence of alcohol, depending on the offender’s BAC (.08, .10, and .16 percent or higher).
“In Pennsylvania, DUI penalties range from fines and driver’s license suspension to jail time,” warns our Pittsburgh drunk driving accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich& Fishman.
Drunk drivers risk killing or injuring themselves or others. Pennsylvania law allows you to seek compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering by filing a claim or lawsuit against the liable party. Our experienced Pittsburgh drunk driving accident lawyers can help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled in these circumstances. They can also help you determine if another party may be legally responsible for causing the harm you suffered.
Fact: Driving under the influence increases the likelihood of a car accident because alcohol is responsible for reduced reaction times, loss of concentration and vigilance, drowsiness, and impaired vision, among other forms of impairment that can significantly limit a motorist’s ability to safely operate their vehicle.
Since driving under the influence of booze impairs the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner, passengers and drivers need to avoid drivers if they notice any of the following signs of drunk driving:
Vehicle passengers must monitor their driver’s condition for signs that they may be intoxicated before getting a ride with them. You may be found by a court to be partially responsible for causing your injuries if you knew or should have known that the driver was drunk.
If you have managed to survive a DUI crash in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you probably want to know what you should do after a drunk driving accident.
“First and foremost, do not panic and stay calm,” advises our DUI accident attorney in Pittsburgh. After a drunk driving crash, a police investigation will determine the BAC of the driver who caused the crash. Although it is natural for you to feel anger with the at-fault driver in the immediate aftermath of an accident they caused because they were intoxicated, you must resist the impulse to confront them in an aggressive manner. This can exacerbate the situation. Additionally, if you remain calm, you will be more likely to have the presence of mind to check for the driver’s license plate or other identifying details should the drunk driver attempt to flee the scene before the police arrive.
Again, if you are able to, do not forget to collect information about the drunk driver, including his or her name, phone number, address, license plate number, make and model of the vehicle, insurance information, and other types of valuable information. Also, do not forget to talk to witnesses and write down their contact information as well. Throughout all this, make sure you are in a safe place away from traffic.
As we have mentioned earlier, the drunk driver may not be the only party who can be sued for your injury sustained in a DUI crash. Our Pittsburgh drunk driving accident lawyer explains that you may also be able to recover damages from an establishment (bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other) that served the at-fault driver alcohol.
However, for Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law to apply in your case, the establishment needs to possess a liquor license, and you will also have to prove that the drunk driver was “visibly intoxicated” at the time alcohol was served to him or her prior to the accident. Social hosts are only liable in Pennsylvania for injuries caused by serving alcohol to minors. There is no liability for social hosts serving alcohol to an adult who drives drunk and injures another person.
Make an appointment at our Pittsburgh office for your free consultation. We are confident that you will trust us with your legal needs and fight for what you deserve. We do not charge a fee for personally consulting with you. In every new case, our fee is only 25%. There is no fee unless recovery is made. We invite you to review the significant Pittsburgh, PA personal injury cases we have won.